The Presidential turkey pardon

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One of the most ridiculous holiday traditions in America is the presidential turkey pardon that takes place each Thanksgiving. The President “pardons” a pair of turkeys from the day’s festivities and keeps them from being butchered. “For this turkey and his traveling companion, this will not be their last Thanksgiving,” Bush said. “By virtue of an unconditional presidential pardon, they are safe from harm.”

The most telling paragraph, though, is this one, which underscores the awful treatment that turkeys (and other food and dairy animals) undergo on an everyday basis:

Actually, the birds may not see another Thanksgiving. They have been so fattened up they can’t get around well, and their hearts and lungs are overtaxed. The comfortable retirement compound waiting at Frying Pan Park in Herndon was empty yesterday morning—because the last two Clinton birds are dead, as were the previous two by Thanksgiving a year ago.

10 Responses to “The Presidential turkey pardon”

  1. megan

    that is not very nice to save a turkey from being butchered and then make it so fat that it cant even move. That is cruel. At least if it is butchered it is a quick and painless death.

  2. Ryan

    Even if a turkey has trouble moving doesn’t mean it’s lost the will to live. Just like you wouldn’t kill your grandmother just because she’s in a wheelchair, an animal that has trouble moving can still live a very happy life.

    At the farm I volunteer at, there’s one turkey that cannot walk on her own, yet she’s filled with more life than any other animal I’ve ever seen. She loves hanging around in her special sling and seeing visitors.

    What’s really “not very nice” is how the birds are fattened up like this in the first place.

  3. Ripa Rashid

    This practice is totally silly. 50 million are part of the genocide on thanksgiving and two escape? I love turkey, so I cant be a hypocrite here …

  4. greg gaskin

    are you serious?????

  5. Jahn

    Selassie I. Out of an intersting fact, just thought i’d put forward that it seems when ya look at it, that throiughout history the only president that takes place in this mockery and heckling of mother nature is at the time drastically in need of a QUICK CHANGE OF THE TOPIC. Saved by the beast.

  6. MJ

    I’m trying to understand everyones views on this tradition. And I’m also trying to count all of the wasted time, money and energy that people and the government uses for this useless tradition. I’ve just wasted 15 minutes of my time. Thank God the thousands of dollars spent for this tradition isn’t all coming out of my pocket, everyone else (taxpayers) is paying for it too. Thanks,, Are we splitting the tip too??? You bet we are!!!

  7. Cyndie Johnson

    The park that keeps the turkeys keeps them on a very strict diet so that they do not get too fat too quickly, unfortunately it’s not that the turkeys are really getting “fat” but they have been bred to have so much meat on them that their muscles grow too big just based on their genetics, and they get bigger as they get older. And this is a lie, one of the turkeys from last year, Biscuit, is still at the park.

  8. Ryan

    It’s not a lie if I wrote it in 2001.

  9. R.K.

    Some turkey pardon pictures are linked on this site.

  10. Wayne Rumi

    “Tradition” they call it.

    In fact, turkey pardoning only started in 1989:

    http://reheated.wordpress.com/2007/11/21/a-revisionist-thanksgiving/

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